VSS eNewsletter - 14 April 2009
14 April 2009
In this issue...
Veg Burger Launched at RI – 13 April
Southern Ridges Trail Hike – 19 April (Sun), 5pm
VSS Interviewed by I-S Magazine
Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide
ACRES Shark Event at Speakers Corner – 18 April
“The Question Is Not, Can They Reason? Nor, Can They Talk? But, Can They Suffer?”
Environmental Photo Exhibition at the Central Library
Cooking Class at LivinGreens – 18 April
Healthy Lifestyle Cum Cooking Lessons – Beginning 10 May
Tanjung Sutera Trip – 9 to 11 May
One-Minute Video on the Amazon Rainforest and Meat
So Good That We’re Announcing It Again
Rapper Promotes Veg
The Southern Ridges Trail is one of NParks newest and most unique trails. It begins at the foot of Mt Faber and proceeds to Bukit Chandu near Kent Ridge : http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=attractions&id=62&Itemid=73
In the spirit of camaraderie, exercise and enjoying the out of doors, VSS will be doing Southern Ridges Trail on Sun, 19 April. If you are coming by MRT, please meet at HarbourFront MRT control at 4.50pm. We’ll set off at 5pm from Seah Im Food Centre across from VivoCity. If you are not coming by MRT, meet us at the orange Sentosa signs for the buses to Sentosa which leave from just behind Seah Im Food Centre.
Highlights of the Southern Ridges Trail include: (1) Henderson Waves - Singapore's highest pedestrian bridge – which spans Henderson Road to connect Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park; (2) Forest Walk, which is made up of an elevated walkway for pedestrians and earth trail for cyclists through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill Park; (3) Hort Park, Southeast Asia’s first one-stop centre for gardening-related recreational, educational, research and retail activities in a park setting.
After the hike, we’ll proceed to Vegetarian Villas Restaurant, 11 Jalan Bukit Merah #03-4458, beside the ABC Market, vegvillas@... 6273.2337.
The hike is free, but please do register: info@... After you register, you will be sent a hp number for use, if needed, on the day of the hike.
There are no dedicated veg stalls open at VivoCity or at Seah Im Food Centre at that time of day; so, please bring any food you might need to satisfy you till dinner. And, of course, bring rain gear, a hat and plenty of water.
VSS teamed with Raffles Institution students and a canteen stall operator to launch a veg burger there on 13 April. Prior to the launch, posters were put up in the school’s classrooms and in the canteen. Plus, announcements were made at the morning assembly. On the day of the launch, the burger was sold at only 50 cents (regular price = $1.60) to those students who could get at least 2 answers correct on a quiz about veg and the environment. Reporters from Lianhe Wanbao and Lianhe Zaobao were there.
We hope to launch similar initiatives at other schools.
VSS was interviewed for a special Green issue of I-S magazine due out on Friday, 17 April. Here’s an excerpt from the VSS representative’s responses but we can’t be sure what will show up in print:
Most people think that being green is about recycling or taking the MRT instead of a car, and those are important and I do them myself, but most people are unaware or inactive about the huge role that meat plays in environmental devastation. Why do we have to make all those billions of innocent animals suffer when we can be healthier and greener without meat or at least by reducing our meat consumption?
VSS will soon be unveiling our latest publication, the Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide. The 76-page booklet is the result of months of hard work, and features write-ups on over 80 restaurants, organized by precincts. It will be distributed by the Singapore Tourism Board at their local office, kiosks, strategic tourist attractions and pick-up points, as well as their overseas offices.
We are also planning a launch event, so stay tuned to find out how you can be one of the first to receive a copy. More details coming your way soon!
ACRES (Animal Concerns and Research Society) - http://acres.org.sg - will launch its campaign against shark fin soup at Hong Lim Park (Speaker’s Corner) on 18 April from 2pm to 4pm.
It is a unique opportunity for animal lovers to show their support for the thousands of creatures threatened by the soup. Those who eat shark fin can learn why the practice is so destructive.
Here’s a piece by a New York Times columnist about the ascendance of the idea that the welfare of our fellow animals deserves consideration.
Event: Asia in Crisis: A Photo Exhibition on Environmental Destruction - "Environmental Issues takes the Spotlight"
From: 10am-9pm through 3 May
Where: Promenade, Level 7, National Library Building
The global story of the threat to our environmental is well known. Over-consumption and pollution are transforming fertile lands into desserts, while climate change threatens the delicate equilibrium of our ecosystem.
Home to the world's fastest growing economies and two-thirds of the global population, Asia promises to be the epicentre of environmental destruction. In the race towards wealth and modernity, forests are being cleared, rivers and oceans have become dumping grounds and the air is often thick with fumes produced by factories and an ever-multiplying number of automobiles.
In response to a query from VSS, the organisers stated that this time there are no photos on meat production’s role in environmental destruction.
Date: 18 Apr (Saturday)
Venue: LivinGreens, 325 Beach Road, S. 199559
Price: $40 per person
- Choka (food prepared with potato which is neither fried nor baked)
- Cranberry Energy Drink
- Oil free fried Brown Rice
- Broccoli Almond Creamy soup
What: Healthy lifestyle classes on how our selection of foods and household products will affect the environment, what are the truths behinds the factory farm, how to choose healthier processed foods and how to make healthy yet simple vegetarian meals for ourselves and love ones.
When: 4 Saturdays, 10 May, 24 May, 7 Jun, and 21 Jun, 3pm– 4.30pm
Where: Yes Natural grocery store, 599 Geylang Road
Cost: $20 for the entire 4 sessions.
Tanjung Sutera is a Malaysian eco resort, 1.5 hours from JB, situated on a cliff some 40 metres from the beach, with an unobstructed view of the South China Sea . The resort, recommended by noted local health and environment writer, Betty Khoo, covers about 20 acres with 30 chalets and a few bungalows.
Rooms are air-conditioned with hot water, but there are no phones or TVs in the rooms. It is not a vegetarian resort, but vegetarian food of various types from local sources is available upon request. Health talks, exercise opportunities and nature encounters are included.
Price: S$270/ for 3 days 2 nights, inclusive of all meals and room on a twin sharing basis. For organic meals (specially arranged) the cost will be S$300.
Here's a 1-minute Greenpeace video making the clear connection between cattle ranching/meat eating and Amazon Rainforest destruction/global warming:
Here are summaries of two studies.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Apr; 109(4):648-55.
Adolescent and young adult vegetarianism: better dietary intake and weight outcomes but increased risk of disordered eating behaviors.
Robinson-O'Brien R, Perry CL, Wall MM, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D.
Nutrition Department College of Saint Benedict Saint John's University ,
37 South College Ave, St Joseph , MN 56374 , USA . rrobinsonobrien@...
Objective: Examine characteristics of current and former adolescent and young adult vegetarians and investigate the relationships between vegetarianism, weight, dietary intake, and weight-control behaviors.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis using data from a population-based study in Minnesota (Project EAT-II: Eating Among Teens).
Setting: Participants - males and females (n=2,516), ages 15-23 years - completed a mailed survey and food frequency questionnaire in 2004.
Outcome Measures: Weight status, dietary intake (fruit, vegetables, fat, calories), unhealthful weight-control behaviors.
Analysis: Multiple regression models controlling for socioeconomic status and sex were used to test for significant differences between current, former, and never
vegetarians within the younger and older cohort.
Results: Participants were identified as current (4.3%), former (10.8%), and never (84.9%) vegetarians. Current vegetarians in the younger and older cohorts had healthier dietary intakes than nonvegetarians with regard to fruits, vegetables, and fat. Among young adults, current vegetarians were less likely than never vegetarians to be overweight or obese. Adolescent and young adult current vegetarians were more likely to report binge eating with loss of control when compared to nonvegetarians. Among adolescents, former vegetarians were more likely than never vegetarians to engage in extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors. Among young adults, former vegetarians were more likely than current and never vegetarians to engage in extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors.
Conclusions and Implications: Adolescent and young adult vegetarians may experience the health benefits associated with increased fruit and vegetable intake and young adults may experience the added benefit of decreased risk for overweight and obesity. However, current vegetarians may be at increased risk for binge eating with loss of control, while former vegetarians may be at increased risk for extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors. It would be beneficial for clinicians to inquire about current and former vegetarian status when assessing risk for disordered eating
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Apr 1.
Diet and the environment: Does what you eat matter?
Marlow HJ, Hayes WK, Soret S, Carter RL, Schwab ER, Sabaté J.
Food demand influences agricultural production. Modern agricultural practices have resulted in polluted soil, air, and water; eroded soil; dependence on imported oil; and loss of biodiversity.
The goal of this research was to compare the environmental effect of a vegetarian and nonvegetarian diet in California in terms of agricultural production inputs, including pesticides and fertilizers, water, and energy used to produce commodities. The working assumption was that a greater number and amount of inputs were associated with a greater environmental effect. The literature supported this notion.
To accomplish this goal, dietary preferences were quantified with the Adventist Health Study, and California state agricultural data were collected and applied to state commodity production statistics. These data were used to calculate different dietary consumption patterns and indexes to compare the environmental effect associated with dietary preference.
Results show that, for the combined differential production of 11 food items for which consumption differs among vegetarians and nonvegetarians, the nonvegetarian diet required 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more primary energy, 13 times more fertilizer, and 1.4 times more pesticides than did the nonvegetarian diet. The greatest contribution to the differences came from the consumption of beef in the diet. We found that a nonvegetarian diet exacts a higher cost on the environment relative to a vegetarian diet. From an environmental perspective, what a person chooses to eat makes a difference.
On 14 March, the Health Promotion Board launched a new page on its website, “A Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Right”. Here’s an excerpt you might want to refer to when someone wonders if a vegetarian diet can be healthy.
The good news [about vegetarian diets] is that there is evidence that a well-balanced and healthy vegetarian diet is associated with a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of death from heart disease.
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